Friday, January 8, 2010

Bangalore...







We went to meet Usha at her home in IIM, B and before we reached there, Pooja and Ankur wanted to have something at cool joint. I of course had had my lunch and didn’t want to eat. Besides, those days, I never spent money on anything at all apart from barest minimum like tooth brush, paste, dal chawal etc

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Kalpana took me to Chamrajpet idly shop and since there was a long waiting line for button idlies, we had bonda soup. It was very good indeed. A few days later, she took me again to that idly shop and we had vada sambar this time. Amazing! Not to mention, that was my first time eating-out experience. I did have lunch at Wipro cafeteria, but this was the eating-out in the real sense.

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A bit about Kalpana: She is a lot senior to me but we had an instantaneous bond. She once invited me to her house because she loved Andhra pulihara but did not know how to make it. As a return favour, she taught me how to roll rotis. Now, of course, I am not in touch with her. We once made pani puri at her house.

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She also took me to a certain chat shop where we got “churmuri masala”. She had apparently eaten there a few times and the churmuri masala was absolute fun. I have always been a big fan of pidita kinda pappu (bhel along with raw onion and tomatoes and green chillis etc – Andhra style) but this churmuri masala took this liking to an altogether different plane. Of course, after our combined visit to that place, the proprietor closed down the business because his sons urged him to stop making churmuri masala and pani puri :(

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Then there was this bhutta we bought in Jayanagar. That time, I had no clue what route our bus took. She made me get off before our stop and we did some shopping. Then she bought me masala bhutta and we ate mirchi bajjis at some stall. I didn’t even know that we were in Jayanagar or was it Basavannagudi. I never knew :D

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This is pretty much my eating out initiation I should say and then I shifted out to BTM layout where I lived for a year with 5 roomies.

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Then, I rediscovered cool joint and hot chips and dosa camp and lassi bar and countless other pani puri stalls. We also went to Utsav and there was this Pizza hut.

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I must write about this.

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My friend Sachin Uppal called for lunch one day and I was already at Jayanagar fourth block shopping and so he offered to come there. We met and we ate at the Pizza Hut which is diagonally opposite to G.K.Vale (road opposite to Dosa Camp).

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And then at a later point in time on a Saturday, all my roomies were either working or out of town and I was bored to death. So I decided to go on a lone expedition to Jayanagar. I didn’t shop for anything but aimlessly roamed around the entire block till I felt hungry. The idea was to feel hungry enough to gather strength to eat alone at Dosa Camp but somehow, no amount of hunger gave me that much needed confidence. Ironically enough, I walked into Pizza Hut and asked for a single seater. I still can’t figure out how I imagined I would eat alone in Pizza Hut while I couldn’t manage at Dosa Camp!!! Anyway, I was seated at a table big enough for four and I placed my order. I was still not sure why I was doing this or how I got the confidence to walk into Pizza Hut. I never went out for breakfast or lunch alone at office. The cafeterias are full of people but I was so dead scared. I even had rows with friends who forgot to call me before they went for lunch. I might as well have eaten at Dosa Camp. I got my garlic bread and I started nibbling when at a distant table I heard a birthday song. Having nothing better to do, I clapped towards the end and got some surprised smiles from the table as well as from a few waiters watching. As I finished garlic bread, a girl and a boy, most probably students from the nearby college entered. The girl was in a nasty mood and the boy was having tough time. Sadly enough, the waiter seated them at a two seater and the girl got super mad. The place was pretty much empty but the waiter for some reason turned down their request to sit at a bigger table. The girl stole an angry glance at me. I was silently eating away my lunch and I heard the boy explain to her that I might have been expecting company. As time passed, I got no company. I ordered dessert and the girl got even more irritated. She almost screamed. “That girl is sitting alone and she got a four seater and we are not getting a four seater”. The boy too looked upset and summoned the waiter. They were immediately moved to a bigger table and that’s when I laughed out loud. I neither felt embarrassed nor awkward. And after that, I never felt awkward going alone to the cafeteria. I finished my small ice cream, paid, left a generous tip (considering I was super stingy at that time) and walked out. The next day, I met Sachin Uppal at office. He was in fits of laughter and then I told Pooja and Gaurav jeeju and they couldn’t believe I really did that. That’s when I started enjoying my lone outings. I never ate out alone but I started enjoying being by myself at crowded places sipping cold coffee and shopping at Jayanagar fourth block. The next thing was to go to the cinemas alone (which I never did of course).

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Then the pani puri thele wallahs in BTM second phase. That “Gelato” ice cream shop. My roomies and I had some great moments there. Then that place, what is the name??!, where we used to get parcel of roti, curry and dal. There was this other place where Seema once took me for tea. A Tapri, where we also got roti, curry and dal. And there was this chineese place where once My3 and I were served crisp chop suey without salt and were waived the bill. Quite honestly, we totally enjoyed the curry we ordered on the side and never once felt the dearth of salt. I must say My3 hit a jackpot for she was treating me that day :)

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Aahh yes! This joint in M.G. Road. I used to go alone for lunch when I was sitting in M.G.Road office. It was right beneath the Times of India building and they served idly, dosa, vada etc

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Their Sambar and chutneys often caused acidity but well!

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There were also places like Angethi, bamboo shoots etc where we would normally wouldn’t go but when there was a company sponsored team lunch/dinner.

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And how can I ever forget Dal Roti which helped me survive umm lets say hunger ;) and yes the Pani Puri which that Rajasthani Kid served at the entrance of Dal - Roti (J P Nagar second phase)

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Then I shifted to Hyderabad which is a story again for some other time

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Ends abruptly? This will continue, as fresh experiences call upon fond memories!